Treehouse dining in the grounds of the Anantara Hotel, Koh Samui
This is a very attractive dining option in Koh Samui. Individual tree houses are joined by built-up walkways in the trees of the five star Anantara hotel of Koh Samui. Service is delightful and touches of a fan being placed at each table, fresh, cold towels throughout the meal and five different grades of salt to choose from, decorate a more upmarket meal in Koh Samui that had definite attention to detail and was genuinely pleasing as a meal. There was a smidgen of hype in the build-up to this meal as is one of the more noteworthy venues on the whole island according to the guides and this I can believe comparatively. Having said that, I experienced no alarm bells, less a higher price tag than the norm for the setting, overheads and effort in the food that was always going to be the case. There is no real view of treetops in the distance so don’t be too deceived (you are not dining on top of a tree) but this would serve romantic occasions faultlessly – a formula, I will wager, the hotel sussed a long time ago.
The proceedings started with a mango and passion fruit vodka shot on arrival with caper bite as an unusual nibble to receive. The cold shot was wonderful to have. Three, small breads were then presented: rosemary and garlic, whole wheat and poppy seed and plain. All these were fine with the garlic bread being especially pleasant.
An amuse bouche of tuna with ponzu mayonnaise and bell pepper mousse and garlic dip was done nicely albeit as a tiny offering. My chosen starter of marinated yellowfin tuna with bell pepper fluid, avruga caviar, bottarga (fish roe from grey mullet or bluefin tuna), yuzu mayonnaise red radish and scallion was lovely. The yellowfin tuna with yuzu cream, avruga caviar + mushroom purée had pleasing overtones of sweet and savoury, but the tuna itself was disguised in 7 different components; actually quite nice to have sweet and savoury, popping textures with spice, but I was hoping for a bit more tuna.
A strawberry sorbet to clean palate came as an interlude. This was welcome and has been a while since I have had that between a starter and a main. The main chosen was chicken. This was served with a beetroot tuille, peas, chickpeas, chocolate puree, sweet corn and tarragon cream. The chicken was an absolute dream but decimated by the spicy chocolate sauce. Peas were a bit withered and the spinach had a peculiar flavour and the tarragon cream had not allowed the tarragon to infuse enough (it was literally like cream with some tarragon shaving in it). It was a shame that there was such a push for style on this dish as the chicken was genuinely the star of the plate and I didn’t think that all of the additives were actually necessary – in fact, they were counterproductive.
Madeleines at dessert were more like biscuits than cake or sponge and harder than normal but I’m not precious on this – they just weren’t obviously going to be able to compete with the pastries of France. But all in all, I enjoyed this meal.
With a glass of chablis and tea at the end, the bill came to the equivalent of £61 which, for the meal, location, setting and all things considered I think is quite reasonable. There was no need for me to go for the tasting menu, but if you did, that might be better to do with a larger group to offset the strange silence everywhere seemingly at night – this is a quiet and intimate experience with some pleasant food.
Food Grade: 73%
Location (Click google logo for directions)